Clearing up questions about DNA for Ancestor research

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.


New Book:


I was sent a review copy of Pen & Sword’s book Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA,* a Guide for Family Historians and it really is clearing up some of the questions that I had about DNA tests for discovering my ancestors.

Like many, I have done a DNA test or two and then I look at the results and while I can see some “cousins” that I have no idea how we are related, I still wonder what else I can do with my results having taken the test.

There is always the worry that I may have chosen the wrong test to do, and can someone explain what the principles and the purpose of DNA testing is?

Tracing Your Ancestors Usng DNA  *


It is therefore great to have got my hands on a book that aims to make it clear what is the science behind DNA and how it can be of use to those of us who want to use it for furthering our family tree research. It is welcome that the book states that we need to use DNA results in collaboration with traditional record research and so it is important that we continue to look for ancestors in the records as before.  This book covers the subject of DNA in a way that genealogists will find useful and sympathetic to what we are trying to achieve in our research.

Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA is edited by Graham S Holton with contributions from John Cleary, Michelle Leonard, Iain McDonald and Alisdair F. Macdonald and they compare various DNA tests, explain the principles and purposes of doing a test, cover the ethical and legal issues raised and describe what can be learnt from the DNA of our distant ancestors.

I was impressed by how I came away having learnt a lot, even though it is a quite complex subject to tackle. I will admit, however, that it did need some careful reading in some cases before I experienced a number of those “light-bulb” moments when I realised that I now understood more about Y-DNA,  mtDNA, and atDNA.

Recommended for anyone thinking of doing a test – this is an informative volume that most will find interesting to read.


Priced £14.99 but discounted to £11.99 at time of writing.

Read more at Pen & Sword’s website here: Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA *




*Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links. This does not mean that you pay more just that I make a percentage on the sales from my links. The payments help me pay for the cost of running the site. You may like to read this explanation here:

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